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About energy efficiency

Discussion in 'Members Lounge' started by dominicxavier, Feb 23, 2017.

  1. dominicxavier

    dominicxavier New Member

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    Recently I read that Canada ranks 10th for energy efficiency (http://solution105.com/canada-ranks-10th-energy-efficiency/). The report was based on the study released by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). I would like to discuss, how does energy efficiency contribute to economic growth. What can we do to improve the energy efficiency? Please share your views.
     
  2. spec

    spec Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). How do you get a job on that committee- sounds like an excellent organisation to work for. Who pays for it?

    spec
     
  3. ronsimpson

    ronsimpson Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    I have designed many LED light bulbs.
    also did R&D on wind turbines many years ago.
    and designed watt meters for power line use.
    designed solar inverters.

    So "efficiency" has helped my economy.

    Sorry about the coal miners that don't have work.
    There are many people working to add better insulation in houses.
    I see wind turbine blades on the road headed for installation.
    Solar as reached a point where many people have them on 3 sides of their house.

    When you say "economy"; efficiency hurts some people and helps many.
     
  4. dave

    Dave New Member

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  5. tcmtech

    tcmtech Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    Once all the new EV's go online and start demanding terawatts of new base load utility grid power go online the coal miners will be back at work. They will be just fine in the new clean green economy. ;)

    (possibly overworked a little even. ) :rolleyes:
     
  6. tcmtech

    tcmtech Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    The first thing to creating an efficient economy is to get all the corrupt political, big government, and liberal extremist groups out of the way and replace them with intelligent knowledgeable rational people with realistic views and expectations for our long term economic direction.

    The second is to properly educate the general public on what is scientifically, technically and engineering discipline based reality and put an end to all the ignorant grossly exaggerated hype behind the general perceptions of how things do actually work and what is really true and real scientific/engineering fact and not imagined or just popular misconceptions or gross ignorance driven by fear mongering. :(
     
  7. cowboybob

    cowboybob Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    Welcome to ETO, dx!

    Are your questions academic or practical?

    If academic:
    Simply put, increased efficiency = reduced cost of production = increased availability of investment capitol (economic growth).
    I don't mean to sound glib, but in the most general sense, you can improve efficiency by using less energy to accomplish the same, or additional, task(s).

    Now, if practical:
    I'd suggest you google your questions, i.e., "how does energy efficiency contribute to economic growth" yielded a bunch of pertinent links.

    And a google of "What can we do to improve the energy efficiency?" also yielded a lot of helpful sources.
     
  8. spec

    spec Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    Can anyone explain what the purpose of energy efficiency is?

    How can energy efficiency possibly contribute to economic growth?

    spec
     
  9. cowboybob

    cowboybob Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    spec,

    If you can produce a widget today, using less energy than yesterday, your cost of production is reduced. This allows for the production of more widgets per energy unit, resulting in either increased production (more profit) OR the same production with more capital available for some other use.

    I.e., increased economic growth.
     
  10. spec

    spec Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    CB,

    I was playing devils advocate and, as you probably may have realized, this is one area that I consider to be full of snake oil, at best. I would use another word but someone called Jim from on high would sensor it.:)

    I am not arguing with you and take this in that light- energy efficiency is not the criteria for economic growth and raising the standard of living- but low energy costs and high availability are.

    In the UK, economic development and competitive advantage are being severely hampered by efficiency measures- so much so that energy is now three times as expensive as it should be if we used 'non efficient' production and usage. This is a constant cry from UK industry and is a major reason why heavy industry is disappearing from the UK. It is also the reason why energy bills are crippling the not-so-well-off, like old age pensioners, who simply cannot afford to heat their houses.

    And the real agenda behind this energy efficiency comes from the man-made global warming charlatans.:facepalm:

    spec
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2017
    • Agree Agree x 1
  11. tcmtech

    tcmtech Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    I'm siding with Spec on this one. Energy input to make most anything is a trivial cost component in the overall production of the item.

    My #1 energy consumption in my life is heating my place and that could be equated to megawatt hours equivalents a month in the winter yet I pay near nothing for it.
     
  12. JoeJester

    JoeJester Active Member

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    How much are you paying the boiler maintenance man and the person who keeps the boiler in combustible materials? p.s. I know you are doing all the necessary tasks yourself. Do you friends drop off their used oil or do you pick it up? That's about the only time consumption items I can quickly think of that has a "dollar value."
     
  13. cowboybob

    cowboybob Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    On that we are in total agreement.

    I didn't immediately pick up the"tongue in cheek" aspect of your post. I've been dealing with idiots (in real life) of late and I lost my mind for a bit.

    My apologies...
     
  14. spec

    spec Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    Absolutely no need for apologies CBB. What you said is totally true. Energy efficiency is a very good thing as a principle in isolation.

    Two very good examples of this are automobiles and houses.

    With automobiles for example, by good design, not only are the engines more powerful but they last longer and do more miles to the gallon. But there is a downside, engines are so complex that it is almost impossible to fix them yourself and the spare parts are expensive.

    With houses, better design has made them more insulated and less drafty. I presently live in a dormer bungalow that is so well insulated that it seems to heat itself.

    spec
     
  15. spec

    spec Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    That is a good point TCM. The cost of oil is a surprisingly small portion of the cost of petrol. Instead the costs are refining, distribution advertising and most of all the ridiculously high taxed imposed on petrol.

    In the case of electricity, the raw material cost is an even smaller proportion of the total costs.

    I used to have the exact figures for the ratio between prime energy source cost and final cost but have lost then- the figures were surprising.

    spec
     
  16. tcmtech

    tcmtech Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    You know my boilers are my own design and maintained by me so they inherently are of very little long term operating cost outlay.

    The new mini boiler I built this year was about 90% surplus metal and parts so maybe $100 to build it and about $300 more in setting it up at this point and I expect that once its going it will be like the old boiler and have a very low annual operating cost other than the typical half hour or so a week I spend on general maintenance cleaning out the flues and change out the paper towel based primary filter.

    As for oil collection I do it for part of a day about 3 times a year netting me about 2000 - 3000 gallons a year now. So maybe 20 - 25 gallons of gas for the truck run around and transfer pump operation. Everything else is scrounged or long since paid for materials which I place near zero value on at this point.

    Once everything with the new system is setup right and tuned properly I doubt that it will cost me much over $100 a year to heat my new work shed and old house combined. So given the present used oil consumption rate I am seeing it run at I expect it will burn about 1000 gallons a year or cost me about 10 cents a gallon or ~140K BTU or about $2.50 a MWH to heat my house. :cool:

    Not too bad considering the same MWH on utility power would cost me over $120! :eek:
     
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  17. spec

    spec Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    Along the same lines, there is a chap in our local who has a large house with two wood burning boilers. He just collects scrap/surplus wood for fuel with his truck.

    So, not only does he get low cost heating and hot water, but he also provides a free service.

    When I demolished an old house, with large wooden beams, it would have cost £1,000 UK in skip charges to take the wood away, not to mention the work of loading the skips. As it was, I just phoned him up and he cleared all the wood free of charge. He did the same thing when I recently replaced an old fence.

    spec
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2017
  18. spec

    spec Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    TCM, you say that you get free liquid fuel- a mixture of oils, diesel, petrol, and kerosine, I would guess. Have you ever thought about building a multi fuel electric generator?

    A guy where I used to work has an ex-army, Abbot mobile gun and, like you, he gets free fuel, mainly from scrap yards. The engine in the Abbot is designed to run from a variety of fuels.

    spec
     
  19. tcmtech

    tcmtech Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    I too did that for years with the old boiler. for the first 7 - 8 years I mostly burned the old wood that came from around home form cleaning up dead trees and what not plus whatever the neighbors or anyone else had to get rid of as well.

    As that source got harder to maintain I started picking up wood pallets from local businesses.

    After a few years of that I designed and refined the used oil burner system and built a big boiler for my brother who took over the local wood collection to run his.
     
  20. tcmtech

    tcmtech Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    Yes I have thought about it and already experimented with it years ago.

    I already have a old Petter AC1 single cylinder air cooled diesel I reworked the fuel system on some years ago to run on used oils that I experimented with on doing Co gen work but being small and air cooled it was not so great being I couldn't capture the engine heat with water and store it plus at ~ 6 HP and doing ~ 2 KW co gen it didn't make much to begin with.


    I did however recently pick up a good older model I4 Mercedes industrial diesel, ~50 - 60 HP, I plan to redo the experiment with again someday being it should be able to produce enough excess heat to be useful and co-gen way more power than I need to the point of likely being minimally profitable as well.
     
  21. spec

    spec Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    Fascinating- keep us posted on the progress with that one.:)

    I started to design a Volkswagen horizontally opposed engine based generator set, but like many projects, it never got any further than theory. The target power output was 20KW. The beauty of the VW engines is that they are dirt cheap, simple to work on and, above all, relatively light. I had considered using gas as the fuel as well as petrol/kerosene.

    In parallel with the electric generator, I also considered using the same type of engine as a cheap motor for a small boat (I live by the sea).

    As you probably know, the VW engine, in modified form, is used as an aircraft engine.

    By the way, as you also no doubt know, a great deal of energy is lost from the exhaust, but it is relatively simple to extract this energy by an air to water heat exchanger.

    spec
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2017

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